InnovENT-E: a certified ‘excellence’ training course serving the needs of SMEs

InnovENT-E: a certified ‘excellence’ training course serving the needs of SMEs for their innovation and international development


Innovation and a presence in the export business go hand in hand: the more an SME is innovative, the more it can export goods and services (and reciprocally). Having taken good note of this, 4 university partners (the UT Group, the INSA Group, the CESI (industrial HE studies) and the University of Lorraine), propose training packages to SMEs helping them develop in both areas.

The project goes by the code name InnovENT-E and was selected in 2012 by ANR (the main operator for assessing actions adopted under the French Government incentive programme 'Investments for the Future' after the call for projects entitled and as such received a budget of 13 Meuros for a period of 6 years.

The InnovENT-E projects relies on 5 major innovations:

  • the recently approved national reference in terms of skills needed in innovation

  • the creation of specific skills training packages certified by InnovENT-E

  • the evolution of organizations and pedagogical trends, calling for more interaction between the teachers and the trainees

  • the constitution of a centre for collaborative, dematerialized pedagogy resource library

  • the implementation of a national training institute enabling dissemination and improvement the various training systems produced by InnovENT-E


This partnership covers all France and mutualizes design and mediation efforts in training questions. The overall aim is to propose - in both initial and continuous education programmes - courses that can be followed at a distance by SMLEs and the 70 000 students matriculated in the four partners universities. For example, by combining the training modules of INSA Rouen, the CESI Paris and UTC, InnovENT-E proposed a training package for the timber sector, or again for an SME in the pharmaceutical sector.

In the long term, InnovENT-E aims at building up a system based on partner networks (competitivity clusters, specialization sectors, trade unions, public establishments and specialist reviews) to increase the visibility/notoriety of the new offer. To illustrate, we can note that InnovENT-E has already signed an agreement with Mov'eo, specialized in the mobility sector.

"The majors and main contractors might also be interested: when they sign international contracts, there often experience the need to upgrade the associate skills of their SME suppliers and this makes their association more efficient", analyses Pascal Alberti, who co-ordinates InnovENT-E activities for the UT Group.

The system is open to all France-based SMEs, and makes them more attractive when it comes to hiring HE graduates. The SMEs will (at last) have an access to innovative training courses and will benefit from the pedagogical workshops proposed.

InnovENT-E intends to pursue both a national and an international logic for its development. "UTC has already established partnerships in Brazil on the innovation theme. We know that InnovENT-E will interest theme. We could also provide SMEs with the capacity to adapt innovation to foreign market places and provide the possibility to establish secure positions there", notes Pascal Alberti. Idem in the case of China, Chile, Morocco and with international partners of other academic (mainly university) institutions.

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